Public Domain Books
How Little Margery learned to read, and by Degrees taught others.
Little Margery saw how good, and how wise Mr. Smith was, and concluded, that this was owing to his great Learning, therefore she wanted of all Things to learn to read. For this Purpose she used to meet the little Boys and Girls as they came from School, borrow their Books, and sit down and read till they returned;
By this Means she soon got more Learning than any of her Playmates, and laid the following Scheme for instructing those who were more ignorant than herself. She found, that only the following Letters were required to spell all the Words in the World; but as some of these Letters are large and some small, she with her Knife cut out of several Pieces of Wood ten Setts of each of these:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r (s) s t u v w x y z.
[Post-processor’s note: (s) is an old-English style non-terminating letter “s”.]
And six Setts of these:
A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
And having got an old Spelling-Book, she made her Companions set up all the Words they wanted to spell, and after that she taught them to compose Sentences. You know what a Sentence is, my Dear, I will be good, is a Sentence; and is made up, as you see, of several Words.
The usual Manner of Spelling, or carrying on the Game, as they called it, was this: Suppose the Word to be spelt was Plumb Pudding (and who can suppose a better) the Children were placed in a Circle, and the first brought the Letter P, the next l, the next u, the next m, and so on till the Whole was spelt; and if any one brought a wrong Letter, he was to pay a Fine, or play no more. This was at their Play; and every Morning she used to go round to teach the Children with these Rattle-traps in a Basket, as you see in the Print.
I once went her Rounds with her, and was highly diverted, as you may be, if you please to look into the next Chapter.